How to Propagate a Wandering Jew plant (Tradescantia)

In this post, we will guide you through the whole process of propagating your Wandering Jew plant, from the tools and equipment needed, to a detailed step by step method and how to solve common problems.

How to Propagate a Wandering Jew plant (Tradescantia)

We are in love with Wandering Jew plants not only because they are fast growers, but because of their incredible colourful leaves that make them stand out in a room full of green. Luckily for plant parents, Wandering Jew plants are also one of the easiest houseplants we have ever propagated so you shouldn’t have too many issues. 

In this post, we will guide you through the whole process of propagating your Wandering Jew plant, from the tools and equipment needed, to a detailed step by step method and how to solve common problems.

Why might you need or want to propagate a Wandering Jew plant?

There are several reasons why plant parents might choose to or be forced to propagate their Wandering Jew plant. Firstly, what better way to get more houseplants for free!! Cuttings also make great gifts for friends and family, especially if they aren’t able to get hold of one of their own. 

The other reason why many plant parents choose to propagate their Wandering Jew plant is that their plant is either too long or becoming very leggy. As the vines grow out, they can often become quite straggly and sparse, it’s normal and nothing to worry about. But to help your Wandering Jew become bushier you can prune them back and propagate the cuttings. 

You might also be forced to propagate your Wandering Jew if it’s starting to die. We always recommend plant parents figure out what the issue is before giving up on the plant, but if things aren’t getting any better you might want to take cuttings from the healthy parts of the plant.

Tools and equipment you will need to propagate a Wandering Jew Plant

Let’s start off with the easy part. It’s important to make sure you have all the things you need before taking that first cutting.

  • Healthy and mature Wandering Jew plant 

  • Clean, sharp scissors/shears

  • Spare pot(s) with and without drainage holes

  • Fresh soil and water

  • Newspaper or plastic sheet if you’re propagating indoors

What methods can I use to propagate my Wandering Jew plant?

The main method of propagation for Wandering Jew plants is through stem cuttings. Although you can also do it through division of the mother plant, there really is not much point as stem cuttings is such a simple and successful method. 

Below you’ll find a step by step method of how to propagate your Wandering Jew plant through stem cuttings.

How to propagate a Wandering Jew using stem cuttings

This is the main method of propagating Wandering Jew plants as it’s suitable for all maturities and lengths. Using this method you can also create several new Wandering Jew plants by just taking one cutting.

  • 1

    Locate a healthy stem 

    When choosing a stem to propagate you need to make sure that the part of the plant you’re cutting is healthy to give you any chance of success. Avoid any sign of disease or pests as they will be transferred onto your new cuttings and will normally mean your propagation won’t work.

    Ideally, you want to locate a stem that has several healthy nodes and leaves. A node is the joint in the stem where the leaves grow out from. This is also where the roots will grow from once in water.

  • 2

    Make the cut(s)

    You want to use clean scissors to cut the stem of your Wandering Jew plant. Make sure to include several nodes in each section of cutting as it’ll mean root growth will be much quicker. How many cuttings you take, and exactly how long each one is, is entirely up to you!

  • 3

    Fill up a container with fresh temperature water 

    Next, you want to fill up a glass with fresh water to place your Wandering Jew cuttings into. Avoid hot or cold water as you don’t want to shock or burn the cuttings as they are quite sensitive having just been removed from the mother plant. We like to use a transparent container so we can see the roots growing and it allows us to spot any issues early. 

  • 4

    Place your cuttings in water

    Make sure that the nodes on your Wandering Jew stem cutting are sat in the water so that the roots will start to grow out from them. Remove any lower leaves that might be sat in the water as they will very quickly rot. Place your glass in bright but indirect sunlight making sure it doesn’t receive any direct sunlight which can burn the young cutting. 

  • 5

    Change out the water regularly 

    One of the most important steps in the Wandering Jew propagation process is to switch out the water in your glass every couple of days. This keeps the water free from bacteria and stops it from stagnating which is harmful to your cutting.

  • 6

    Be patient 

    Luckily, you don’t have to be too patient with Wandering Jew cuttings as they grow roots sometimes within a day or two of being in the water. Soon enough you’ll see a real web of small delicate white roots shoot out from your cutting. 

  • 7

    Plant your cuttings into potting mix

    Once the roots on your Wandering Jew cutting are a few inches long, it’s time to pot them into soil! We recommend using a high-quality potting mix to make sure your cuttings are getting enough nutrients. Carefully place your cuttings a few centimetres into the soil, making sure not to damage the newly formed roots as they can be quite delicate.

  • 8

    Resume usual Wandering Jew care

    For the first few weeks of your cuttings living in potting mix, we recommend keeping the soil a little more moist than you usually would as the cuttings are used to living in water. After a few weeks, you can go back to usual Wandering Jew care and soon those cuttings will be long enough to propagate again! 

Wandering Jew Propagation Frequently Asked Questions

Common problems when propagating a Wandering Jew plant

Although propagating Wandering Jew plants is a lot simpler than some other houseplants, it doesn’t mean that it won’t come with issues of its own. But don’t worry, below we have all the main problems you may face when propagating your Wandering Jew so you can figure out what is causing these problems to arise and hopefully solve them before it kills your plant cuttings.

Hopefully this guide to Wandering Jew propagation has been useful. Whilst you can also propagate through division, stem cuttings is the best method and the only one we recommend as it couldn’t be simpler. Now that you are equipped with the right method, care instructions and top tips, your Wandering Jew propagation should go off without a hitch! 

Check out our full Wandering Jew care guide to find all the information on how to continue to care for your cuttings once they have matured.


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